I’ve often times talked about how we can’t just think our way into our market’s brain. The reality of branding strategies is that when it comes to building recognizable brands we need to actually let our market in on the process. In other words, we need to talk to our market, hang out with them, ask them questions, ask for feedback and build relationships. We then need to take that information and build it back into our branding strategies and then use it to craft a brand that caters to their needs.
If you take the time to listen to the needs of your market, you’ll be able to more easily build a memorable brand. Branding strategies like these don’t come easy, but they are worth it. Use our tips to help you out.
1. What language does your market use?
Language is extremely important because it’s how you can directly relate your brand to your market. A very powerful way to do this is to actually use the language your market communicates in. For example, how does your market describe their problem? Use that in your sales copy when you mention the problem.
What does your market want as a result and how do they describe that? Use that in your copy as well.
How does your market want to feel in relation to your business? For instance, I know my market wants to feel abundant and like they aren’t constrained to financial and business systems that just don’t work for them. As a result, I created a brand that sees business and money in a more loving light—a light that tells people money doesn’t need to be so scary.
2. Where does your market hang out?
This works for both marketing and branding. If you know where your market hangs out then you’ll know how to find them and how to communicate with them.
Let’s take Instagram as an example. Lots of designers use Instagram as a means of marketing because lots of fashion bloggers and people who buy clothing are scrolling through their Instagram feed checking out people’s outfits.
What does this mean for the designer? It means that their market is extremely visual; therefore they need to create a brand that is also extremely visual.
Disfunkshion Magazine is a stellar example of how to do this. They have a bohemian chic style. They know their market likes this, and they use Instagram to cater to them. Additionally, they take this same visual style and use it in the magazine itself and on their website. If you take a look at their website you see that their photos easily fit in with Instagram.
3. What is your brand vision?
Very few companies have established their brand vision as well as Apple has. As such, we’re going to use Apple as an example again.
Apple wanted to change the way people saw technology. They didn’t want technology to be clunky, unattractive and difficult to use. They wanted it to be personal and beautiful. This is how Steve Jobs ended up re-inventing the personal computer.
When they made their comeback in the early 2000s they knew they couldn’t do it with a computer per se. So they decided to focus on something no one else was doing—a gorgeous and easy to use MP3 player. Remember those commercials? So simple yet so amazing.
After that, the iPhone also revolutionized the way we use smartphones. Remember the days before cell phones were touch screen? How did we ever manage that? Well, you have Apple’s vision of simplicity, beauty and enjoyment to thank for getting humanity away from those clunky Nokias.
Throughout Apple’s entire history they have stayed true to their vision: to revolutionize the way people see technology, to make it personal, to make it easy and to make it with good design. Even their packaging follows these principles.
This is why Apple was able to come back from the brink of bankruptcy. This is why Apple has a cult-like following. This is why Apple isn’t just about technology; it’s about the entire experience consumers have when using Apple products.